Tension between the Old and New

I woke up early Republic Day (Trinidad and Tobago), not before Mother Sun, but early enough before her warmth blanketed the land. 

I took a chair and settled in my garden of Eden, inspired to do a Visio Divina. I can hear my readers asking, “What’s a Visio Divina?”  It’s translated as “divine seeing”.  It’s related to the form of prayer Lectio Divina (divine reading), but instead of Scripture, it utilizes visual elements and allows God to speak into your heart through the image.

I started my Visio Divina. My eyes made a bull’s eye on a plant where two parts appeared to be competing with each other – the original three stalks and a later cluster of stalks. It appeared as though the original part gave birth to multiple children, and these children grew, grew and grew upwards, forcing their parents to bend forward almost touching the ground.  I was instructed to use a cord or wire to brace up the parents. Then, I couldn’t locate a cord or wire, so I used a bag of soil to prop up the parents. As time progressed, the parents continued bowing forward almost touching the ground, and the children kept moving upwards to Mother Sun.

But then, I was distracted with the thought, “Why not clip away the three parents and discard them, thus, allowing the children space to grow?” Yielding to this distraction, I abandoned my prayer space, headed to the storeroom, retrieved a pair of garden scissors, clipped the base of the parents, and cast it away in a pile of rubbish, and returned to my Visio Divina. 

Like a periscope, my eyes moved in the direction of the pile of rubbish – the burial ground of the parents.  I thought, “Why not clip away their leaves and plant the stalks in pots to regrow. Distracted again. I abandoned my Visio Divina, recollected the parents, grabbed  a bag of soil, collected the pots, poured soil in them, clipped the leaves of the parents, and planted the stalks in the pot. 

After generating some serious sweat, I reluctantly returned to my Visio Divina thinking that my prayer had been totally ruined. Then, I remembered the words of my spiritual director, “Never make a judgment of your prayer. God comes to you nonetheless.” I sat down my sweaty self and stared at both the surviving children and the remnants of the parents.

The children appeared happier. I thought. Parents and leaders give birth to a younger generation.  This generation needs more and more space for growth.  At the right moment, we learn to give way. But, the older generation must not be cut off and discarded. 

How about replanting them in fresh soil, a fresh environment, fresh space and a fresh relationship so that they continue to propagate,  passing on their wisdom and knowledge?

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